Melissa & Austin

When Melissa Ryan was three-months pregnant with her first child, she found out that he had defect that meant his skull wouldn't fully close before he was born. So Melissa had lined up a neurosurgeon to fix it right after her little Austin was born.

When Melissa finally gave birth, the doctors at Maine Medical discovered a host of other problems that extended beyond what they initially expected including developmental issues, heart and kidney problems, and vision and hearing difficulties, among others. From there on out, Melissa was on the road constantly seeking medical attention from different specialists and medical professionals located all over Maine and in Boston. Melissa wasn't able to go back to her job at a mortgage company because she had to take care of what mattered most, her son Austin.

Melissa found out about Fuel the Care when Austin was just about to turn one year old. He was still regularly seeing doctors and specialists all over New England and the Fuel the Care Gift Cards were a huge help to alleviate the cost of travel.

"With the added cost of getting to and from each of his appointments, and going from full-time income to part-time, the Fuel the Care program has been a phenomenal help. I don't know what we would do without it."

With the help of Fuel the Care, Austin was able to get the treatment he needed and has since seen progress in his development. At three years old, Austin started attending preschool part-time, and Melissa was able to start working again part-time - two milestones that seemed almost unimaginable just a few years ago.